Commentary

White perfect fit for Wildcat offense

Originally Published: April 13, 2009
By Aaron Schatz | Football Outsiders
A year ago, Pat White would not have been a hot draft commodity. As a short quarterback who was better known for his running than his passing at West Virginia, White would have gone in the later rounds after trying to prove to teams that he could change positions to wide receiver. But that was before the Wildcat became the NFL's hottest trend.

Miami's variation on the classic single-wing offense worked so well last year that similar direct-snap plays were spreading around the league within weeks. Over half the NFL's teams ran at least one play last year featuring a direct snap to a non-quarterback, or two quarterbacks on the field at once. Now teams like Dallas, New England and Philadelphia are considering White to play a hybrid receiver/quarterback role in their own version of the Wildcat.

But did the Wildcat actually work for other teams besides Miami? The answer is yes, but not always as well as you might expect -- and part of the reason why the Wildcat works explains why teams are interested in White and players like him.